The last few days have been hard for many of us, with the deaths of good men, and in my case, the loss of my family's dog. Today, we here in northern Indiana lost a good man of the Christian faith who led the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend for 25 years, Bishop John Michael D’Arcy. I had the honor of meeting Bishop D’Arcy during the annual banquet held by Allen County Right To Life in Fort Wayne in October of 2010; he was awarded the Telemachus Award, named after a Christian from ancient times remembered for accepting the call by God to do His work.
Ordained as a priest in 1957, Bishop D’Arcy served nearly thirty years in the Archdiocese of his native Boston before he was installed as head of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese in 1985. Like most Americans, I first heard of his name during the fallout from the sex abuse scandals which rocked the Catholic Church, especially the Boston Archdiocese, where he raised concerns about the actions of pedophile priests. Here in northern Indiana, he was a strong man of faith, a
devoted shepherd, a pastor any Christian could hope for, and he was a strong supporter of the right to life.
When Bishop D’Arcy accepted the Telemachus Award that night over two years ago, he spoke of not feeling worthy to receive such an honor, and it was shortly after the program ended, when I had the opportunity to meet him, I was able to tell him he was worthy of such an honor. God blessed all of us, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, in this part of the world with the presence of Bishop John D’Arcy, a blessing for which we should all be thanking Him. May the Bishop rest in peace.
Update (Feb. 5th, 8:51 AM EST): I came across a moving tribute to Bishop D’Arcy at JackUVallTrades this morning. I hope you head over there and read it; he does more justice to the Bishop's memory than I could.